Sam Bain is responsible for some of the funniest television you will ever see. From Peep Show to Magicians to Children’s Hospital, he is consistently hilarious and can seemingly do no wrong. Sam was kind enough to answer a few questions for us during a break in filming.
1. So what are you up to right now?
Filming the 3rd series of Fresh Meat in Manchester. Or rather they’re filming it while my lovely wife Wendy and I are on a road trip in Northern California.
2. What will it be like when a series like Peep Show comes to a conclusion after that long? What is the closure process like?
We haven’t come to a conclusion yet! We’re due to write and film Series 9 next year. The first five series were commissioned on a series-by-series basis so we wrote each one imagining it might be the last. I think there might be a motto there but I’ll need a bit more time to work on it.
3. What was it like doing the British episode of Children’s Hospital?
It was a blast. The show is hilarious, I was flattered to be asked. It’s weird being British and writing a ‘British episode’ of anything though, because you’re having to package your cultural references to an American audience. It’s a bit like working in one of those tourist shops in London selling Union Jack mugs and Princess Diana Memorial Aprons.
4. Without fear of judgement, what are your top five favorite movies of all time?
- Taxi Driver
- Groundhog Day
- My Dinner With Andre
- Joe Versus the Volcano
5. Are there any actors or actresses that stand out as specific ones you’d love to work with?
So many. Steve Martin and Woody Allen in their prime … when it comes to current actors I’m a huge fan of Zach Galifianakis and Greta Gerwig. Also Jemaine Clement – his performance in Gentlemen Broncos is a thing of beauty.
6. What’s the strangest celebrity encounter you’ve ever had?
When I was 14 one of my best friends was a girl whose dad was big in the UK music business. One day I went to her house and Linda and Paul McCartney answered the door. I literally couldn’t speak I was so awestruck. They just laughed. They were really nice.
7. Are there any TV shows you’re keeping up with right now?
US-wise I love Louie, Breaking Bad and Girls, obviously. UK-wise my two favourite shows of the past year were Hunderby and Utopia – both amazing in completely different ways, and totally unique.
8. Who are some of your biggest influences?
The usual suspects — Woody Allen, Larry David, Charlie Kaufman … One of my favourite sitcoms (which was a big influence on Peep Show) is actually a comic — the first 15 issues of Hate by Peter Bagge. A brilliant flatshare show with amazing characters.
9. Who are some of your favorite accounts on Twitter?
The edifice of my Twitter timeline is supported by the 4 pillars of wisdom: Graham Linehan, Peter Serafinowicz, Caitlin Moran and Rob Delaney. I would recommend following lovely Veep genius @simonblackwell – also @meganamram @iamenidcoleslaw are consistently hilarious. And of course @thewendybain.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
1) Give up. 2) If you refuse to accept point 1, you’ll be fine.
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